Photo Credit: Bruce N. Meyer
If you’re packing for a getaway to St. Louis, be sure to
include plenty of red in your wardrobe.
St. Louis is, above all things, a baseball town, and the people here
wear their Cardinal red all year long. With 11 World Series championships to
their credit - second only to that team-who-shall-not-be-named from NY - who
can blame the Red Bird fans for their mania.
Getting tickets to a game may be tough in this baseball
crazy city where most games are sold-out weeks in advance, but visit the
stadium anyway. Busch Stadium provides a spectacular view of the Arch and
downtown skyline from almost all if its 46,861 seats. The number of
National League pennants flying in the outfield of Busch Stadium are almost too
numerous to count. The Stan Musial statue is classic and Hall of Fame
members are memorialized in bronze as well.
The Ballpark Village, opened in spring 2014, includes the
Cardinal Hall of Fame and Museum, the Cardinal Nation Restaurant, a Busch Brew
House and touches of everything that feeds the pride of arguably the best
baseball fans in the country.
2. City Museum
Another great destination downtown is the City Museum.
You’ll know you’ve found it when you see a big yellow school bus driving off
the top of a ten-story building. But don't worry. It probably won't
collide with the airplane lodged in an oversized slinky stretched out into the
next building, but it might get hung up on the world's largest pencil
protruding from the wall. Nothing here is breakable - everything is to be
touch, crawled on, run over, punched, pulled and pounded upon.
In an old shoe factory building, artist Bob Cassilly has recycled
the most common, ordinary things into the region's most popular, innovative and
truly unique play places. Everything inside is made from things we’ve thrown
away over the years.
Crawl inside a dinosaur. Swing from a trapeze. Slide down a
shark's tooth. Color your own masterpiece. Gaze upon a part of the building
that inspired "The Exorcist."
3. The Loop
One of the fun, trendy neighborhoods in St. Louis is an area
called The Loop. Historically, it’s where trolley cars turned around or
“looped” back on their route. Today it is home to a funky restaurant/sports
bar/ music venue/museum called Blueberry Hill. And yes, the man himself, Chuck
Berry still shows up here at least once a month and holds an impromptu
concert downstairs in The Duck Room, so named for his dance across the stage
with his guitar.
Blueberry Hill is the brainchild of Joe Edwards, a close personal friend of
Chuck Berry and the guy who almost single-handedly rehabbed all of The Loop. Look
for statues of Chuck Berry, the St. Louis Walk of Fame and oh, spend the night
here at the Moonrise Hotel in the Agnes Moorhead Room.
4. Ted Drewes
Ted Drewes is a name you need to know if you’re visiting the
Lou. It’s not a person, it’s an ice cream/custard place located on Old Route
66. More than 25 flavors of custard so rich and thick that you can turn
the cup upside down and it won't fall out. It's been like that since 1930
when Ted, Sr. started the business.
There's no inside seating and only a few plastic picnic
tables outside, but each summer evening, hundreds of people fill the parking
lot waiting for their concrete, malt, shake, or whatever.
5. Mardi Gras
Other than baseball season, the best time to visit St. Louis
is in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. Founded by the French 250 years ago,
St. Louis is home to the second biggest celebration in the U.S. The Soulard
district is ground zero for more than a month of activities, including a Taste
of Soulard restaurant crawl.
Pet parades crown the family friendly events, but keep the
kids away from Soulard on actual Fat Tuesday. There’s nothing that happens on
the streets of New Orleans that hasn’t happened on the streets of Soulard on
this day where the party is almost as rowdy as when the Cardinals win yet
another World Series.
Which St. Louis activity do you want to try first?